Friday, October 30, 2015

Week 7: Houston Texans @ Miami Dolphins

We are visiting Miami this week and today's dish just had to be paella! This is something I've never made and so I was pretty excited. I did have a bit of a challenge on my hands because my sister is preggers and she has seafood limitations right now. I thought I would be making a blasphemous dish but upon a nifty Google search, I found plenty of non-seafood paella recipes! Hallelujah! So here goes the recipe:

Chicken & Sausage Paella 
3 chicken breasts cut into chunks
1 package sausage, cut into thick slices
1 onion sliced
3 cloves garlic chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 bell peppers, sliced (red, orange, or yellow)
3 or 4 carrots, sliced
1 1/2 cup rice
2 cups water or chicken stock
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Seasonings to keep on hand: turmeric, cumin, paprika, Mrs. Dash (any seasoning blend you like), garlic salt (if you don't have just use regular salt), and black pepper.
1. Season the chicken with 1 tablespoon each of paprika, cumin, and Mrs. Dash, and also 1 teaspoon each of garlic salt, black pepper and turmeric.
2. In a medium high skillet (or dutch oven) brown sausage. Remove from pan and repeat with chicken.
3. Remove chicken (don't worry if it's not all the way cooked), and add onions, garlic, bell pepper, carrots and tomatoes. Let cook for about 2 minutes.
4. Add 1 tablespoon turmeric, paprika, and Mrs. Dash as well as 1 teaspoon of salt and black pepper. Saute for 1 minute. We are waking up the spices!
5. Add rice and stir until rice is coated with seasonings. Add 1 cup water and chicken and let cook for 15 minutes.
6. Taste gravy. If bland, feel free to add any extra spices you'd like at this point. If all of the water is evaporated, add second cup of water or stock. Let cook another 10-15 minutes.
7. Add sausage and continue to cook until rice is completely cooked and all water is evaporated.
8. Add cilantro and serve.

You'll notice there is no mention of spice other than the black pepper in this dish. The reason is because my brother in law doesn't handle spice well. I cut up some jalapenos on the side and we just added them to our plates. If you prefer spice, slice a couple jalapenos or serranos and add them with the sausage in the end.

This dish is so very tasty and you really don't miss the seafood. I dare you to try it. We got our butts handed to us by Miami and everyone in our house was still in a great mood because our Miami tasting trip turned out remarkably delicious!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Week 6: Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars

This week, we were supposed to have seafood. Unfortunately, the dish we wanted required crab and we just didn't make it in time to get good quality crab. As a backup, we decided to make a West Indian dish: Stew Chicken and Rice.

This dish is best made with a whole chicken that has been cut up but if you'd like to use chicken breast you can. The recipe is below:

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 medium onion chopped
3-4 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 green onion chopped
2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoon cumin
1 lime or lemon, cut in half
1 habanero or pepper of your choice (either cut or whole)
2 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
salt and black pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup water

1. Cut chicken and rinse in water and lemon/lime juice. Empty water and juice.
2. Season chicken with garlic, onion, cumin, green onion, tomato paste and salt and black pepper.
3. In a big saucepan or dutch oven set to medium high heat, add oil and let heat.
4. Add brown sugar and let caramelize to a dark brown (not black). Add chicken quickly. Put the bowl that the seasoned chicken was in aside for a moment.
5. Turn chicken so that all pieces are coated in the brown sugar. Cover pot and let simmer for 5-10 minutes.
6. Using the bowl that the seasoned chicken was in, add water and swish around to pick up all leftover seasonings. Add to pot with cilantro and habanero, and let cook for another 20 minutes.
7. At this point, water should have evaporated to about 1/2 cup. You can continue to let it cook if you don't want too much gravy or you can turn it off at this point and serve on a bed of rice.

A couple of tips:

-If you like spicy foods, I recommend breaking the pepper inside the pot after the dish is cooked completely. Because the pepper was also cooking for 20 minutes, it will have built up some nice juice inside. Once popped, all those spicy juices flow all throughout the stew. My mouth is just watering thinking about it.

-I love to add either slices of fresh cucumber/tomatoes or even a nice slice of avocado just to refresh my palate in between spicy bites! You don't have to, but I recommend it.

On a side note, we won today so that made today's dish even better!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Week 5: Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans

So for week 5, we had a Thursday night game that my family and I decided to attend! Because of this, we did not cook. We also did not partake of any stadium food. We lost that game so I'm glad I didn't have to drown my sorrows in food. It's no fun losing!

It's okay though because we decided to have an easy Sunday. We ordered pizza and I made a very simple dessert. Chocolate Non-Fondue! I'm sure you're wondering what that is...well let me share with you how it works.

Take whatever chocolate you prefer and melt it. I always melt in a double boiler but you can use the microwave if you'd like. Once melted, add a splash of vegetable oil. That will prevent the chocolate from hardening and will also give the chocolate a nice glossy look. Put the chocolate in a pretty bowl and cut up whatever you want to dip into the chocolate. At my house, we love strawberries and green apple so that's what I prepared. After everything is cut up, just put out your spread and enjoy!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 4: Houston Texans @ Atlanta Falcons

On yesterday's menu: peach cobbler. I debated on making a main course dish but you can't visit Georgia without having a peach. For this recipe, I scoured the internet and found Sweet State of Mine. Her blog is about visiting all states via food. She had a very easy home recipe for peach cobbler so I decided to try it. The recipe is:

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup all purpose flour
2 cups sugar, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup milk
pinch of salt
4 cups fresh peach slices
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. Melt butter in a 13x9 baking dish.
2. Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Add milk stirring until all ingredients are moistened. Pour over butter. DO NOT MIX.
3. In a saucepan, bring 1 cup sugar, peach slices, and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Again, pour over batter and DO NOT MIX.
4. Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.
5. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Let me tell you something, I am by no means a fruit dessert person so I didn't enjoy this as much as I thought I would. That being said, EVERYONE else loved it! The crust baked up over the peaches so it was just warm and gooey with a nice crunchy edge. And you can't serve peach cobbler without a scoop of ice cream and we are lucky to have Blue Bell back so that's what we used.

We got our butts kicked and so it was nice to have this dessert to help us get through how horribly we played!